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SAMHSA’s Award-Winning Newsletter
May/June 2010, Volume 18, Number 3 

Image of teenage boy standing in school hallway with other teens in background

Adolescents Do What Every Day?

Have you ever wondered how many American teenagers use alcohol and illicit drugs on an average day?

A new report from SAMHSA, A Day in the Life of American Adolescents: Substance Use Facts Update, presents information about teens’ use of cigarettes, alcohol, and illicit drugs “on an average day,” including their use of these substances for the first time.

SAMHSA first released a report of this nature in 2007 (see SAMHSA News online, November/December 2007). The 2010 report offers updated data as well as a new section that focuses on drug-related emergency department visits.*

Substance Use Data

The report reveals that on an average day in 2008, more than 1 million teens age 12 to 17 smoked cigarettes, more than half a million drank alcohol, and approximately 563,000 used marijuana (see chart).

In addition, 7,540 adolescents drank alcohol for the first time, more than 3,800 smoked cigarettes for the first time, and more than 4,300 used an illicit drug for the first time on an average day.

In the Emergency Room

On an average day in 2008, there were 465 emergency department visits for adolescents age 12 to 17 that involved the use of illegal drugs, alcohol, or the misuse or abuse of pharmaceuticals.

Alcohol played a role in many of the visits—151 visits involved alcohol only and 54 involved alcohol taken with other drugs. Marijuana was involved in 129 visits.

In addition, SAMHSA estimates that, on any given day in 2008, 63 emergency department visits took place for drug-related suicide attempts among adolescents.

Treatment

The following numbers of teenagers under age 18 received substance abuse treatment on an average day in 2008: 76,484 were in outpatient treatment; 9,219 were clients in non-hospital residential treatment; and 762 received hospital inpatient treatment.

The report also provides data on the primary substances of abuse reported by teens in treatment and the major referral sources (e.g., criminal justice system, schools).

For more, download the full report.

* The data presented in this report are from four 2008 SAMHSA data sources: the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), the Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS), the National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS), and the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN).

On an Average Day: Teen Substance Use

Enlarge image

Chart on teen substance use on an average day - click to enlarge image

Source: SAMHSA, Office of Applied Studies (April 29, 2010). Figure 2. Number of Adolescents Age 12 to 17 Who Used Cigarettes, Alcohol, or Illicit Drugs on an Average Day: 2008 NSDUH. The OAS Report: A Day in the Life of American Adolescents: Substance Use Facts Update. Rockville, MD.

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  Cover Story & Related Articles  
Promoting Wellness in Early Childhood

Promoting Wellness in Early Childhood

Project LAUNCH focuses on children from birth to age 8.


  From the Administrator  
Your Responses to What's in a Term?

Your Responses to “What’s in a Term?”

Comments are continuing to arrive in SAMHSA’s email reader-response box. Thank you! Read the responses so far.

Your Comments, Ideas, Personal Stories . . .

Your Comments, Ideas, Personal Stories . . .

SAMHSA has received more than 150 emails in response to the Administrator’s call for comments. Read selected responses.


  Health Reform  

Affordable Care Act: Implications for Behavioral Health

The Act improves services for people who have mental health and substance use disorders.



  Suicide Prevention in American  
  Indian Communities  
Helping Youth “Live To See the Great Day That Dawns”

Helping Youth “Live To See the Great Day That Dawns”

AI/AN youth are 10 times more likely to attempt suicide.

First-Person: Commitment, Hope, Community

Collaborating across tribes helped create a needed publication for AI/AN youth.



  Teens & Substance Abuse  
Adolescents Do What Every Day?

Adolescents Do What Every Day?

A day in the life may include more than texting and homework.

Tobacco Sales to Minors Increasing?

Tobacco Sales to Minors Increasing?

Sales of tobacco to minors increased nationally in 2009.

Youth Smoking & Maternal Risk Factors

Youth Smoking & Maternal Risk Factors

If a mother smokes, does that affect her teen?

Teen Smoking: New Data

Trends in young people’s smoking habits.



  Treatment  
TIP 49 in Your Pocket

TIP 49 in Your Pocket

Pocket “Quick Guides” for counselors and physicians.

By Metro Area: Treatment Data

By Metro Area: Treatment Data

Activities in 27 metro areas include Baltimore and San Diego — Metro Briefs.


  Awards  
PRISM Awards Honor Films, Television

PRISM Awards Honor Films, Television

Kudos for the realistic depiction of substance abuse and mental illness in film and TV.


  Staff in the News  
Leadership Award to Kana Enomoto

Leadership Award to Kana Enomoto

The Arthur S. Flemming Awards honors SAMHSA’s Kana Enomoto.


  Ending Seclusion & Restraint  

Organizations Making a Difference

SAMHSA honors facilities for reducing these practices.



  Drug Abuse Warning Network  
  (DAWN)  

Rise in Nonmedical Use of Pain Relievers

Emergency visits double for prescription opioid pain relievers.



  Recovery Month  
Toolkits, Posters Available

Toolkits, Posters Available

For September, planning materials at RecoveryMonth.gov.



  


Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration – 1 Choke Cherry Road – Rockville, MD 20857
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